How many people have told you this week that they are just “so busy?” Quick, how many times have you said it this week too?
I realized there are some people I’m genuinely saying it to that know me and know that I am always busy but when I do really say that I’m busy it means I don’t have a lot of extra time that I want to dedicate to things.
I did a mental health check in with this statement and asked myself “Why am I telling people this?” and “What do I actually mean?”
I immediately realized I was not present in my response. I’ve been treating my “I’m busy” the same as someone would respond with “How are you?” “Good.”
“Good” = “Busy”
I say “I’m busy” when I really mean:
- I’m not present
- I’ve been lazy and am feeling ashamed
- I don’t have much else to say to the person
- I’m hiding from something
- I’m self sabotaging
- I’m actually telling you I’m busy
The problem is being “busy” is actually detrimental to our mental and physical health. It’s not about being “busy” its about valuing something. If you’re too busy, what can you give up so that you can refocus? What can you create value around this week?
Rephrasing “busy” to actually say what you mean can cultivate connection, vulnerability, and gratitude. What if I rephrased my “I’m busy” to “I’ve been focusing on spending more quality time with my family over the weekends.” Here’s a good one, “I’m okay, feeling a little blah lately, so I’ve been really focused on restoring myself.”
Hard truth: you’re not special for being busy, it’s literally most people’s go-to “way of being.” If you want to be different than that, you have to respond differently. It might not just be untangling your calendar, but bringing to focus what you are actually up to and doing on purpose.